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Crime and Police Effectiveness 

by Ronald V. Clarke and Mike Hough 




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© Crown copyright 1984 
First published 1984 

ISBN 0 11 340773 4 


‘Home Office Research Studies’ comprise reports on research undertaken in 
the Home Office to assist in the exercise of its administrative functions, and 
for the information of the judicature, the services for which the Home 
Secretary has responsibility (direct or indirect) and the general public. 

On the last pages of this report are listed titles already published in this series, 
in the preceding series Studies in the Causes of Delinquency and the Treatment 
of Offenders, and in the series of Research and Planning Unit Papers. 

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Several colleagues and friends have helped us with advice and comments on 
earlier drafts of this report. Within the Research and Planning Unit thanks are 
due to John Burrows, Paul Ekblom, Kevin Heal, John Macleod, Pat Mayhew, 
Malcolm Ramsay, David Riley, Peter Southgate, Roger Tarling, Mary Tuck 
and Carole Willis. We should also like to thank George Kelling of Harvard 
University and Mollie Weatheritt of the Police Foundation, London. 




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Page iii 

Introduction 1 

Crime: the nature of the problem 3 

Conventional deterrent policing 5 

Foot patrol g 

Car patrol 7 

Detective work o 

Strands of innovatory practice 

Specialised patrols and ‘targetting’ 
Community policing 
Neighbourhood policing 
Situational prevention 













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i, For the first time in many years the police service is up to complement. 
Manpower has risen over the last five years by more than 10%, with an 
additional 12,000 serving officers and 3,000 civilians now in post. These 
increases have not been acconmanied by any reductions in recorded crime or 
improvements in clear-up rate^, and some might think that the increase in 
provision has not been sufficient. But there is now research evidence which 
suggests that crime will not be significantly reduced simply by devoting more 
manpower to conventional police strategies^^h } 

This research, coupled with the need for economy in public expenditure, has 
had its effect upon government policy: provision for further growth is on a 
much smaller scale (from the present 121,000 officers to 122,500 in 1986/87) 
and police forces are being advised of the need to make more efficient and 
effective use of resources^^k The research has also influenced the thinking of 
senior police themselves, many of whom have accepted the limited 
effectiveness of conventional deterrent policing— foot patrol, car patrol and 
criminal investigation — and are now devoting considerable effort to the search 
for new solutions. 

This report summarises the relevant research and suggests ways in which 
existing resources might be used to greater effect. Its main conclusions are 
that, (whatever the benefits in terms of public reassurance or confidence, 
increasing visible police presence through extra foot or car patrols is by itself 
unlikely to reduce crime; nor does there seem much scope for a general 
improvement in detection rates'^ The report provides a measure of support for . 
community and neighbourhood policing, for more focused patrolling 
strategies and ‘targetted surveillance’ of certain types of offender, and for the 
‘situational’ approach to crime prevention now being developed by the crime 
prevention unit recently established in the Home Office Police Department. 

These innovations are not regarded as panaceas, but as the means for 
piecemeal improvement in particular circumstances and in relation to specific 
crime problems. 

Studies in social research rarely yield a set of clear-cut and consistent findings. 

The evidence on which this report is based is incomplete and of varying 
quality, sometimes containing contradictory findings''^); to piece it together 

• Recorded crime has in fact risen from 2.5 million in 1979 to 3.2 million in 1983 — an increase 
of 28%— though the 1983 figures are no higher than those for 1982. The figures for crimes 
cleared up are given in Note 35. 

2 Earlier reviews of these studies are to be found, for example, in Kelling (1978), Clarke and 
Hough (1980) and Morris and Heal (1981). 

3 The Home Office issued a circular in November 1983 on the means by which effectiveness might 
be increased. 

Some of the conflicting results arise from sampling and measurement problems though there 
have been cases of deliberate falsification of data. See Chaiken (1974) and Farmer (1980). 


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has necessarily involved interpretation and judgement on the part of the 
authors. Moreover, the report draws considerably on research undertaken in 
North America, and there can be no certainty that the findings are always 
applicable in this country. Further research may suggest a different emphasis 
or even different conclusions. But those which have emerged so far are of 
sufficient interest, and of sufficient importance to any discussion of modern 
policing, to justify their publication at this stage. 

Some further caveats should be made to avoid misunderstanding or 
misinterpretation. The report does not argue that nothing can be done about 
crime — that ‘nothing works’ — nor that the police have little impact on crime. 
They quite patently play a major role in the prevention and detection of crime 
and the maintenance of public order; and when the police have been removed 
from the streets (as when police strikes have taken place in North America) the 
result has sometimes been a sharp increase in crime and disorder*^*. Rather, 
the report says that there is only limited scope for enhancing the impact which 
the police already have on crime, and it aims to promote a sharper awareness 
of the options which offer best value for money. 

Second, the report looks at the effectiveness of policing strategies within the 
existing legal framework. It does not examine the relationship between police 
powers and police effectiveness. It may well be that extending powers of 
search, arrest, detention and of access to records would help secure additional 
convictions in court (see pp. 13-14); but the case for such changes has to be 
examined in the wider context of personal freedom and the rights of the 
individual. (These considerations are being debated at the time of writing, as 
the Police and Criminal Evidence Bill is before Parliament.) 

Third, the report makes only passing reference to some of the technological 
aids now at the policeman’s disposal — for example the impact of forensic 
evidence on detection and the potential of command and control computers 
for generating management information. It is however recognised that 
technology has an important supporting role in many of the strategies 
examined by the report. 

Finally, dealing with crime is only one of the many tasks performed by the 
police. They also maintain order on the streets, marshal crowds, control 
traffic, cope with emergencies such as fires and floods, and provide a 
miscellaneous round-the-clock service of help and advice to the public. And 
even if the police and others have laid great stress on their ‘crime fighting’ role, 
only a small proportion of the incidents they have to deal with are directly 

5 Most recent police strikes have been in North America (see Meyer, 1976). When London’s 
constables went on strike for three days in 1918 disturbances were restricted to the 
demonstrating policemen; but widespread rioting resulted from the three day strike in Liverpool 
the following year (see Reynolds and Judge, 1969). 


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related to crime^®). The report does not consider the effectiveness with which 
the police handle their non-crime functions, though any assessment of 
optimum manning levels must take these into account. The research reviewed 
here therefore offers no direct guide to the appropriate size of the police 

Crime: the nature of the problem 

Most crimes — about 85% of the three million or so (excluding motoring 
offences) recorded each year — come to the notice of the police by being 
reported by victims, bystanders or others such as store detectives^"^’. More- 
over, the three million recorded offences are only a small proportion of the 
total committed. For example, the British Crime Survey shows that as few as 
half of all burglaries get into police records, about a quarter of woundings and 
as little as 10% of incidents of vandalism (see Chart). For some other 
categories of crime such as shoplifting, the figure recorded may be as low as 
1 % . And further findings from the British Crime Survey suggest that perhaps 
as few as one in 250 drunken driving offences are detected^®^ 

The police have to deal with a number of very serious crimes which can make 
heavy demands on their resources and some of which may create a sense of 
public outrage, but these cases represent a small proportion of the crime 
workload. About 95% of all crimes known to the police are offences against 
property. Most property crimes involve relatively small amounts, with, for 
example, losses under £50 in roughly half of all completed burglaries. In the 
small proportion of crimes involving violence, the victim is rarely attacked 
without provocation by a complete stranger; some of the most common 
victims of violence are young men who have got into fights whilst out 

The number of recorded crimes has increased greatly over the last two decades 
from about | million in 1960 to 3^ million in 1982. However, the official 

^ The range of demands for police assistance has been documented by, for example, Punch and 
Naylor (1973), Comrie and Kings (1974), McCabe and Sutcliffe (1978), Hough (1980a) and 
Ekblom and Heal (1982). The last-mentioned study found that of some 500 tape-recorded 
telephone calls to a local police station only 18% resulted in crimes being recorded by the police. 

7 Bottomley and Coleman (1981), Burrows (1982), Mawby (1979) and Steer (1980) all found that 
between 80% and 90% of offences come to police notice by being reported by the public. 

8 Data from the British Crime Survey suggest that less than 1 in 40 drunken drivers and less than 
1 in 400 drunken driving offences were detected by the police in a fourteen-month period. These 
figures can only be estimates as they are based on self-reports by respondents of amounts of 
alcohol consumed before driving (cf. Riley, in press). 

9 The information presented in this paragraph is drawn from Criminal Statistics, England and 
Wales, 1981 (Home Office, 1982) and from the first report of the British Crime Survey (Hough 
and Mayhew, 1983). 


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Levels of recorded and unrecorded crime 










1200 - 

1100 - 

1000 - 








200 - 

100 - 

Unrecorded crime 
Recorded crme 

Vandalism Rieft Burgbty Theft Bicycle Theft Theft Wounding RtAbeiy 




Total No. of crimes 2.650,000 1240,000 726 

Percent recorded in 
criminal statistics 


of theft in from 
motor dwelling the 

vehicle person 

00 0 277,000 209.000 139, 






000 422,000 368,000 160,000 30,000 




{ Source : Hough and Mayhew, 1983 ) 


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statistics may overstate the increase^‘°^ both because it is now easier to report 
crimes (with greater telephone ownership^"’), and because more of the crimes 
which are reported may now be recorded. The latter will be partly the result 
of improved recording procedures'*^* but also of increased police 

The causes of the growth in crime are a subject of both political and academic 
argument; but few would deny that a complex web of social and environ- 
mental factors is involved. Influences or experiences in the family, at school, 
at work, or among neighbours and associates are thought by most informed 
commentators to determine crime levels to a far greater extent than any 
strategies adopted by the police (or by any other part of the criminal justice 


Traditionally, policing has been premised on deterrence, and preventive patrol 
has always been seen as a central police function. Patrols — on foot or in 
cars — represent a threat of arrest both because they may catch offenders red- 
handed and because they can be summoned to the scene of a crime in progress. 
Particular emphasis came to be placed on this latter function in the 1960s as 
car patrol superseded walking the beat; it was believed that fast response to 
calls for police help would result in more arrests and would create a sense of 
‘police omnipresence’. More recently however the policy of ‘returning bobbies 
to the beat’ has found widespread acceptance. It should be remembered, of 
course, that deterrence is not the only patrol function; patrols have to respond 
to calls for help — both connected and unconnected with crime. As is discussed 
below, their presence may contribute to public order on the beat and may 
reduce anxieties about crime^*'**; and foot patrol especially may be an efficient 
way of gathering criminal intelligence (though there is little relevant research). 

'0 For a fuller discussion see Bottomley and Coleman, 1981; see Hough (in press) for a discussion 
of the divergent burglary trends indicated by Criminal Statistics on the one hand and sample 
surveys of crime on the other. 

* ' The spread of phone ownership has very probably stimulated the rate at which people report 
crimes to the police, though it is hard to prove conclusively that this is so. As late as 1966 only 
one in four households in the United Kingdom had telephones, as against three in four in 1982. 

•2 The introduction of computerised records in many police forces has streamlined the preparation 
of statistics. ’Moreover, the Home Office has continually improved the consistency with which 
crime statistics are collated by police forces. New counting rules were introduced in 1980, the 
precise effect of which is unclear. 

■3 See Carr-Hill and Stern (1979). In 1960 police and civilian manpower totalled 79,000; it now 
stands at 155,000. Increases in manpower since the war have been partly offset by decreases 
in the post-war period of around 15-20% in hours worked. Most of this decrease however 
occurred in the fifties. See Hough (1980a). 

14 The British Crime Survey has shown that fear of crime is widespread amongst certain groups 
of people and in certain areas. For example, 60% of elderly women in inner cities feel very 
unsafe when out alone at night. See Maxfield (in press). 


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Investigative work is another arm of conventional policing. Whilst the detec- 
tion of crime is usually contrasted to the preventive function of patrols, its 
rationale is none the less deterrent: the risk of detection after the event adds 
to the risk which offenders run of being caught red-handed. Research on the 
effectiveness of conventional deterrent policing is discussed below under the 
headings of foot patrol, car patrol and detective work<‘^>. 

Foot patrol 

There is little evidence that increasing the number or frequency of foot patrols 
actually reduces crime— although this may achieve other important objectives 
in terms of public satisfaction and feelings of security A British experiment 
carried out in the 1960s concluded that levels of crime increase when patrols 
are completely removed from beats, but provided that there is some police 
presence, the amount of patrolling makes little difference to crime. Similar 
findings were obtained in several American experiments, the most recent 
undertaken in Newark, New Jersey'‘^>. In this study, the introduction of foot 
patrols was greatly appreciated by residents and seemed to reduce fear of 
crime; but the researchers found no measurable impact on crime levels 
themselves — whether measured by police statistics or by victim surveys. 

One cannot be sure that these findings are applicable to present-day Britain, 
and replication of the American work is needed. However there is some 
plausibility in the idea that crime rates are largely unaffected by changes in 
levels of foot patrol. Set in temporal and geographical context, crimes are rare 
events, and are committed stealthily — as often as not in places out of reach of 

•5 Apart from the studies discussed under these headings, there is the body of so-called ‘econo- 
metric’ research which attempts to- model the relationship between police manpower and 
reported crime rates by analysing statistical data from several places or points in time. These 
have yielded no consistent results, and suggest, if nothing else, that the relationship between 
manpower and crime is neither simple nor invariate. The most recent and sophisticated studies, 
both in Britain (Carr-Hill and Stern, 1979) and the US (Greenberg et ai, 1983), have failed to 
demonstrate that more police manpower has a positive impact on crime. 

Bright (1969) looked at variations in patrol strength in three British cities, and concluded that 
provided that there is some police presence the precise number of patrols on a beat makes little 
difference to levels of reported crime. However reported crime was found to increase when 
patrols were withdrawn completely from beats. Schnelle et al. (1975) studying the introduction 
of foot patrol officers to areas of Nashville, Tennessee, found that increases in manpower were 
accompanied not by reductions in crime but by an increase in the level of crimes reported to 
the police; there was, however, no change in the numbers of arrests. Heller (1977) reported very 
little measurable effect following the allocation of additional officers to foot patrol duties in 
an area of St. Louis. The most recent, and perhaps the most sophisticated evaluation was 
carried out in Newark, New Jersey, to assess the impact of foot patrol activity on crime, 
public perception of crime and public behaviour (Police Foundation, 1981). The study found 
no relationship between the level of crime in a particular area and the presence or absence of 
foot patrols. Residents (but not shopkeepers or businessmen) were aware when foot patrols 
were introduced to an area, and perceived the severity of crime as decreasing. The authors 
conclude that foot patrol does not affect crime levels but does reduce residents’ fear of crime 
(and their preparedness to take preventive measures). 


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patrols^*’’. The chances of patrols catching offenders red-handed are there- 
fore small, and even if these are somewhat increased, law-breakers may not 
notice or may not care.(^An average foot beat in a large British city covers a 
square half-mile, with 4 - 5 miles of public roadway and a population of about 
4,000. Thus, given present burglary rates and evenly distributed patrol 
coverage, a patrolling policeman in London could expect to pass within 100 
yards of a burglary in progress roughly once every eight years— but not 
necessarily to catch the burglar or even realise that the crime was taking 
placets)) Research interviews with habitual burglars and other offenders have 
confirmed that they realise that the risks of being caught red-handed are 
low^'^h and it is questionable whether they would be sensitive to changes in 
the level of risk brought about by changes in conventional foot patrol. 

Car patrol 

( It was for this kind of reason that police managers in the sixties argued for 
a switch from foot to car patrols. It was thought that car patrols would have 
a greater deterrent effect, that they would provide a more efficient and cheaper 
form of continuous coverage, allowing police to reach the scene of incidents 
much more quickly, and that they would also improve the policeman’s 
working conditions. But research has found little evidence that car patrols are 
any more effective in reducing crime than foot patrols^The best known study, 
the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment, showed that a two- or three- 
fold increase in the level of vehicle patrol had no impact on crime (and indeed 
passed virtually unnoticed by most people)(20).)This may not be surprising 

The British Crime Survey found that half of the offences which it uncovered took place in the 
sorts of public locations open to police surveillance. An American study based on police 
records again estimated that roughly half of crimes are committed in public places (Elliott, 
1973). Only those offences occurring in, or in view of, public places are likely to fall into the 
category of ‘suppressible crime’— those which police activity could reasonably be expected to 
affect (cf. Hayes, 1983). 

The figure of once every eight years represents the probability that an individual foot beat 
officer working eight hours a day for 365 days a year will pass within 100 yards of a burglary 
in progress. The main asumptions in this calculation are: a burglary rate of 10% per annum' 
an average of five minutes to complete a burglary; patrol speed of 3 mph; and a foot beat 
comprising 1,500 households. 

uf-’ Reppetto, 1974; Waller and Okihiro, 1978; Maguire, 1982; Bennett and 

Wright, 1983. 

Press (1971) in a study conducted in New York reported that increases in the number of 
motorised patrols lead to reductions in crimes recorded by the police, but with some evidence 
(1970) looked at the effects of an increase in perceived police presence 
when the Indianapolis Police Department bought additional patrol vehicles which officers were 
expected to retain for their personal, off-duty use. This had no clear effect; (recorded) levels 

Preventive Patrol Experiment is 
probably the most exhaustive assessment of mobile patrol (Kelling et ai, 1974). In the course 
of the experiment vehicles entered five ‘reactive’ beats only in response to calls for service-'a 
normal patrol level of one car per beat was continued in five ‘control’ beats; and two or three 

Snnd No significant differences were 

found between the different sets of beats in crime levels (whether measured by police statistics 

or by victim surveys) or levels of satisfaction with the police. While the subject of some 


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given that even intensive patrolling may only provide very intermittent 
coverage of what may be a large geographical area. Thus in the supposedly 
crime-ridden streets of American cities, it has been estimated that a patrol 
officer will encounter a street robbery only once every 14 years^^'^. Moreover, 
the generality of crime is not easily visible from a patrolling car. This last point 
applies even to some vehicle-related offences such as drunken driving, where 
the offender is safe from detection unless he infringes some other traffic 

It is also now recognised that the advantages of fast response are less than had 
previously been supposed. The police have been successful in greatly reducing 
the time taken to respond to incidents (often by the introduction of ‘command 
and control’ computers which help the dispatching officer to make the most 
efficient selection from available patrols) and in most major cities the police 
can get to the scene of a crime within minutes. However, this fast response is 
rarely productive in terms of arrest. For example, a large American study 
found that no more than 3% of crimes reported to the police resulted in arrests 
which could be attributed to the speed with which a patrol reached the scene 
of the crime. These findings can be explained by several factors. Where 
offenders are disturbed in the course of crime, they can make good their 
escape, especially in cities, in seconds rather than minutes. But for most types 
of crime (for example, burglary), the majority of instances are discovered long 
after the perpetrator has left the scene; and research has shown that people 
who discover crimes delay for quite some time before calling the police. The 
first reaction of victims is not to call the police, but to take stock of their 
situation, and, perhaps, to seek advice, reassurance or help from friends and 
neighbours. Burglary victims, for example, will spend some time recovering 
from the initial shock of discovery and checking their losses before calling the 
police. The first response of the rape victim may be to try to regain some 
composure and to change her clothes, before she can face the police, and the 
victims of street crime may have difficulty in finding a phone. For all these 
reasons crimes are not reported at the first opportunity but only after some 
delay— almost invariably more than ten minutes and often as long as three- 

(Footnote 20 continued.) 

criticism (see e.g. Larson, 1976), the Kansas City study lends weight to the conclusion that 
within limits increases in patrol manpower are unlikely to have a noticeable effect on crime. 
However, some reductions in crime may follow from very heavy increases in patrol levels, at 
least for short periods of time (cf. Wilson, 1975). Thus Schnelle, et ah. (1977) found that 
substantial increases in night patrol activity were accompanied by a decrease in burglaries, 
though similar decreases did not occur when day patrolling was intensified. These findings were 
explained by the fact that at night more crime occurs in city and town centres and that these 
areas are easier to patrol than residential areas— particularly at night when traffic and 
pedestrians are sparse. 

21 See President’s Commission (1967), page 249. 

22 It will be recalled from p. 3 that a very large proportion of drunken drivers go undetected in 
Britain, and a study in Sweden estimated that with existing levels of patrols a drunken driver 
could travel seven kilometres back and forth into the centre of Stockholm once a week for 
twenty-five years without being detected (Klette, 1977). 


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quarters of an hour^^^\ In the light of these findings, police forces are 
beginning to experiment with systems of ‘graded response’, where only urgent 
calls receive an immediate response; patrols attend to less pressing calls at a 
time agreed between the caller and the police^^''^ 

The move to car patrols has been widely criticised on grounds that the police 
become remote from people’s daily concerns, lose touch with local news and 
gossip and can no longer serve as the community’s ‘philosopher, guide and 
friend’ Some recent participant-observer studies add force to these 
criticisms. These have suggested that putting policemen in cars and giving 
them radio communication can result in over-reaction, where, for example, 
patrol cars converge at high speed on any incident promising excitement^^^h 

Given these costs of car patrols and their few apparent advantages in terms of 
crime reduction, there is a good case for ‘returning bobbies to the beat’ — but 
more to increase public confidence and reduce fear than in the expectation that 
this will lead to reductions in crime. Deploying foot patrols is central to 
community policing and neighbourhood policing, and the implications are 
considered in more detail later in the report. 

Detective vt^ork 

Research has little to say about the detection of those notorious crimes which 
capture the headlines from time to time — though with enough effort (and 
sometimes luck) the police can achieve notable successes. The bulk of detective 
work, however, is concerned with what are to the police relatively routine cases 
of burglary and theft. Research suggests that the investigation of most of these 
crimes is either straightforward or very unpromising. This conclusion about 
detective work has been suggested both by several small-scale studies in Britain 

23 The evidence about response time is largely American (but see Ekblom and Heal, 1982). The 
first major study of this topic, the Kansas City Response Time Analysis (Bieck, 1977) looked 
at a large sample of both serious and trivial crimes. It found that victims delayed some 20 to 
40 minutes on average after discovery of, or involvement in, a crime before calling the police. 
These results were confirmed by a study conducted by the US Police Executive Research Forum 
in four cities (Spelman and Brown, 1981); this showed that only some 3% of ‘serious’ crimes 
(Part 1 offences excluding homicide and arson) reported by the public resulted in an arrest 
attributable to fast police response. The researchers concluded that the scope for improving 
upon this low figure was very limited. Most offences (70% to 85%) were discovered after the 
event, when neither a quick decision to contact the police nor a fast police response would make 
much difference to the likelihood of the police catching a suspect; and in fact callers reported 
the average ‘discovery’ crime 10-15 minutes after coming upon it. With ‘involvement’ crimes 
(in which viptims or witnesses observed the offence in progress or were actually confronted or 
attacked by the offender) the speed of the call to the police was indeed found to determine the 
chance of arrest — but only made a real difference if the police were contacted immediately after 
the episode. As the researchers put it, ‘. . .if people delayed reporting any more than three 
minutes, they might as well have delayed an hour.’ (p. 63). 

24 Sumrall et al. (1980) offer a ‘blueprint’ for graded response. 

25 Sherman (1983) describes how the shift from foot to mobile patrol affected the quality of 
patrol work. 

26 See, e.g., Holdaway (1977) and Punch (1979). See Punch (1983) for fuller discussions of the 
autonomy of ‘street level’ police. 


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and elsewhere and by a comprehensive study of investigative work undertaken 
by the Rand Corporation in the United States'^'^k Leaving aside ‘offences 
taken into consideration’ or t.i.c.’s'^^k these studies have shown that for the 
majority of crimes cleared up the offender’s identity is plain from the outset; 
victims or witnesses can say who did ih2‘^k or else the offender is caught red- 
handed or clearly implicated in some other way. Thus if the officer who first 
attends the scene of, say, a burglary finds no clear leads as to the identity of 
the offender, there is often little value in assigning a detective to the case as 
there is hardly any effective action open to him; the only real hope of a 
detection is if an offender arrested for another crime admits the burglary as 
a t.i.c. 

The Rand study was especially pessimistic about the productivity of detective 
work, concluding that ‘only about 3% of all index arrests appeared to result 
from special investigative efforts where organisation, training or skill could 
make any conceivable difference’. The use of forensic evidence, for example, 
usually serves not to identify an unknown offender, but to support the case 

2"^ The Rand study of detective work covered 153 separate police departments in the United 
States (Greenwood et ah, 1977). Its aim was to identify factors of organisation or practice 
which lead to successful investigative performance. It failed to find any such factors: the study 
concluded that investigative activities play only a minor role in contributing to overall arrest 
rates, and that much of detectives’ time is consumed by administrative paperwork or attempts 
to locate and interview witnesses on cases which are very unlikely ever to be solved. Whilst the 
Rand findings about CID organisation have been challenged by other American studies (see 
Note 3 below), British studies by, notably. Steer (1980), Mawby (1979) and Bottomley and 
Coleman (1980) have confirmed the important part played by the public in providing 
information for detectives. For example. Steer observes that, ‘The success of the police in the 
detection of crime depends for the most part on how much useful information the public is able 
to give the police about the circumstances of the events. It is difficult to see how the situation 
could be otherwise.’ 

2« Questioning of detected offenders in police custody often leads to admissions about other 
crimes— the so-called t.i.c. ’s or ‘offences taken into consideration’ when the court passes 
sentence. (Another way of securing clear-ups is for the police to question convicted offenders 
in prison.) From the offender’s point of view admitting previous offences allows him to ‘clear 
the slate’. For the police, t.i.c.’s — which may include crimes previously unknown to them — 
have the benefit of improving their clear-up rates; for victims (where they are informed) there 
may be benefits in bringing a sense of satisfaction and the possibility of financial 
compensation. However it is doubtful whether these t.i.c.’s have any deterrent effect. In 1977 
26% of detections in England and Wales were as a result of t.i.c.’s (see Burrows and Tarling, 
1982). The contribution that t.i.c.’s make to the clear-up rate varies from force to force; 
Mawby (1979) reported that 40% of crimes cleared up in Sheffield were the result of t.i.c.’s; 
Bottomley and Coleman give a figure of 28% from a study of a northern city; and Steer found 
20% in the Thames Valley Police area. 

29 In many cases the offender is known to the victim or witnesses. But when people see offenders 
unknown to them they are strikingly inept at providing adequate descriptions and are unreliable 
in subsequent identification. Shepherd, Davies and Ellis (1981) found that only one quarter of 
subjects witnessing a dramatic incident could make a spontaneous identification of the 
perpetrator; a further quarter could Identify the correct person when pressed to make some 
decision. Brown, Deffenbaker and Sturgill (1977), however, found that witnesses were as likely 
to identify someone in an identification parade whose photograph they had recently been 
shown in connection with the investigation as they were to identify the real culprit. 


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against a particular suspect, or to eliminate the innocent — and it can of course 
be invaluable in this respect. Similar points apply to fingerprinting^^^^ 

In fact, rather less than half of detectives’ time is spent on investigation, and 
it would seem that detective work is as much a matter of preparing the case 
for prosecution as of discovering the identity of the offender^^'^ Some 
improvements might be made by sharing the task of detection more evenly 
with the uniformed branch, who are usually first at the scene of a crime^^^)^ 
Gains might also be made through the more efficient use of computers in sift- 
ing and collating information, and through formalised case screening, to help 
focus effort on the more solvable crimes^^^h However, the available research 
suggests that provided there is sufficient manpower to process the readily- 
detectable crimes and question offenders about their other crimes, increases in 
detective manpower and technological improvements yield only marginal gains 
in clear-up rates^^"^'. The number of crimes cleared up has increased by almost 
half in the decade since 1973 (faster, that is, than increases in police 

30 Usable prints are rarely lifted from the scene of a crime. Even when they are, the offender may 
have had legitimate access and thus may not be incriminated by the prints. And where there 
is no suspect ‘in the frame’, the prints would have to be matched against those held by the 
Criminal Records Office. This is very labour intensive (though computerisation is speeding up 
the process); and besides, if the offender has no record, little can be done. Only the most 
serious of crimes would justify taking fingerprints from a broad cross-section of potential 

31 Tarling and Burrows (1983) summarised the results of workload surveys conducted by four 
police forces. In each survey detectives were required to record the time spent on different 
tasks. The results were broadly consistent and showed that 40-45% of detectives’ time was 
devoted to investigation (including travelling in the course of this work), between 25% and 31% 
was spent on report writing, about 5% attending court, 7% taking refreshment and the 
remaining time on other duties. 

32 The uniformed branch of the police service has, contrary to some common assumptions, long 
played an important part in crime investigation. A British survey carried out by Crust (1975) 
showed that while the CID and uniformed branch each perform about one fifth of investigation 
alone, in the remaining three-fifths they do so together. Nonetheless, the survey made it clear 
that there are substantial differences between areas: for example, uniformed officers in rural 
areas undertook on their own over one third of all investigations, but those in urban divisions 
did so in only 2% of cases. More recently forces in urban areas are making moves to allocate 
more ‘beat’— or less serious— crimes to the uniformed branch for investigation. Studies in the 
United States of various ‘team policing’ systems — where detectives are dispersed from central 
agencies to work, and share their investigative duties, with neighbourhood patrol teams — have 
supported the value of this approach. See Bloch and Bell (1976) and Elliot (1978). 

33 Research has shown that so-called ‘solvability’ factors can be identified, and that detective 
effort can accordingly be directed at the most promising cases (Bloch and Bell, 1976; Block and 
Wiedman, 1975; Eck, 1979). 

34 Only one of the studies of detective work has attempted to quantify precisely the relationship 
between increases in manpower and improvements in clear-up rate (Burrows and Tarling, 
1982). On the basis of a comparison of clear-up rates achieved by police forces in England and 
Wales, they concluded that neither a one per cent increase in overall police manpower nor its 
equivalent directed solely to CID manpower (a seven per cent increase in detectives) would 
improve the clear-up rate by one percent. (Even if such improvements in clear-up rates were 
achieved, it is unclear whether they would have any general deterrent effect, since there is no 
means by which potential offenders would become aware of the improvements.) 


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manpower), while clear-up rates have declined from 47% to 37%^^^’. This 
could be interpreted in three ways: there may have been some gains in detective 
efficiency; or some easily detectable cases were previously going undetected 
from lack of manpower; or perhaps, both previously and now, manpower has 
been sufficient to clear up the easily detectable cases — more of which are now 
being reported. In other words the declining clear-up rates may be a product, 
at least in part, of a shift in the balance between detectable and undetectable 
crimes recorded by the police. 


Jhe weight of the evidence reviewed so far is that ‘more of the same’ policing 
will have little impact on the overall level of crime. Other purposes may be 
served; foot patrol, for example, has benefits in terms of reducing fear of 
crime and reassuring the public, and increases in manpower might enable the 
police to discharge duties unconnected with crime more effectively] There may 
be scope for gains in efficiency; patrols can be dispatched, for example, 
according to a ‘graded response’ system, and ‘case-screening’ can be 
introduced to set priorities in detective caseloads. (But on the strength of 
existing research it would be wrong to look to conventional strategies of patrol 
and investigation as methods of achieving a significant general reduction in 
crime]|Some senior police managers recognise this, and — with encouragement 
from the Home Office and the Inspectorate of Constabulary — are increasingly 
experimenting with alternative forms of policing There has been a consequent 
shift in management style with greater emphasis both on the identification of 
policing objectives, so that solutions are nmre precisely tailored to problems, 
and in using resources more efficiently'^^^Wfeir Kenneth Newman’s approach 
to the policing of London is one example^^^k 

35 The clear-up figures for notifiable offences in England and Wales since 1973 are: — 



cleared up 

cleared up 


































36 Greater use is also being made of new information technology such as computerised 
Management Information Systems, though with varying degrees of success (see Hough, 1980b.) 

33 See Appendices 31 and 32 of HMSO (1983) for Sir Kenneth Newman’s assessment of problems 
and priorities in policing London. There have been a number of other British projects which 
have set out to analyse policing problems, develop strategies to solve them and to evaluate the 
outcomes, for example the Skelmersdale experiment (Laugharne, 1982). 


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In terms of strategies, a number of strands of innovatory practice can be 
distinguished, though these are often entwined in practice.( First there are 
attempts to refine conventional deterrent strategies to make them more 
focused. These include a variety of specialised patrol strategies and the 
‘targetting’ of specific offender groups. Then there are styles of policing aimed 
at improving relations between police and public and bolstering mechanisms 
of informal social control, which are considered under the headings of 
‘community policing’ and ‘neighbourhood policing’. Finally, there are crime 
^ prevention methods based on co-operative action with individuals, 
organisations and other authorities in the community to reduce opportunities 
for crime, . which are discussed here under the heading of ‘situational 
prevention’^ Inevitably these innovations have received less research attention 
than conventional strategies. This section of the report has attempted to 
marshal what evidence there is, and to extrapolate from other research 
findings where appropriate; the conclusions reached here must therefore be 

Specialised patrols and targetting 

There have been a great many attempts to develop more effective forms of 
patrolling. Few have been properly evaluated in Britain, and commentators 
must be tentative in reaching conclusions about their effectiveness. One 
approach is simply to ensure that there is the greatest density of patrols at that 
time of the day or week when most crimes occur. (At present, most forces’ 
deployment patterns show a substantial mismatch^^^h) Another is to 
concentrate patrols in high-crime areas. American research has shown that 
such ‘saturation patrolling’ seems to reduce crime in the areas covered by 
patrols'^^k There are nevertheless some limitations. Saturation patrol can 
result in displacement, where offenders are simply shifted to nearby areas, or 
are forced to change the time or style of their operations'^^®’; it is also 
expensive, and even where effective cannot usually be maintained for any 
length of time. 

Another approach has been to make extensive use of stop-and-search tactics; 
again, American research has found evidence that crime can be reduced in this 

38 See, for example, Comrie and Kings (1974) and Hough (1980a); Hough’s results showed that 
in one police force there were approximately the same number of patrol units deployed on each 
of the day’s three shifts, though the ‘late shift’ (3-11 pm) had to cope with twice as many 
incidents as either of the others. Nuijten-Edelbroek and Spickenheuer (1983) discuss the 
implications of the mismatch for crime prevention in Holland. 

39 See Dahmann (1975), Chaiken et al. (1974), Chaiken (1978), Schnelle et al. (1977). 

'♦o See Reppetto (1976) and Gabor (1978) for discussions and classifications of displacement. 
There is little doubt that police and other crime prevention measures can result in displacement, 
and the extent of this depends on the type of crime and on offenders’ motivation. Highly 
opportunistic criminal action committed on the spur of the moment will not be subject to 
displacement; but the more that crime involves planning and the search for good targets, the 
more of a problem displacement will be. Whatever the case, displacement will rarely be total. 


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A Home Office study also found that, as practised in London, 
routine stop-and-search yielded a great many arrests; but these arrests were 
typically for less serious offences, and considerably less than one in ten stops 
resulted in arrests^'*^*. Whatever the deterrent impact of stop-and-search 
tactics, they run a risk of upsetting relations between police and public when 
they are practised extensively as in ‘Swamp 81’ in Brixton^^^h 

Decoy patrols have been used, particularly in the United States, for 
apprehending particular offenders such as those engaged in robbery, 
prostitution, homosexual offences and drug abuse. In these, plain-clothes 
police officers pose as promising targets, and arrest those who respond to the 
‘bait’. These methods certainly produce arrests and may reduce crime; they 
nevertheless raise delicate legal problems of entrapment and ethical questions 
about the practice of deceit by the police^''^k 

Finally, there is a group of arrest-orientated strategies which are premised on 
more efficient gathering and use of information to ‘target’ specific types of 
offender or even known offenders. Specialist squads have been set up, staffed 
variously by detectives or uniformed officers, with particular responsibility for 
crimes such as burglary or robbery — or even to deal with crimes committed by 
truants*'*^^ In some forces the squads involve little more than a specialisation 

See Boydstun (1975). 

42 See Willis (1983). 

43 See Scarman (1981). The British Crime Survey showed that ratings of the police by the young 
are already disturbingly poor (for example one in 5 of young men complained of police 
misconduct), and proactive police tactics such as stop-and-search can exacerbate the situation. 
The survey also found a greater hostility towards the police among those who have been 
stopped and questioned by them than among those who have not (Southgate and Ekblom, in 
press). A Home Office survey in Moss Side (Tuck and Southgate, 1981) showed that West 
Indians were in general more hostile to the police than whites, but that this difference did not 
exist for young people; this perhaps reflected the fact that young whites and blacks were equally 
likely to have been stopped, searched or arrested. The study by Boydstun (1975) mentioned in 
Note 41 also found from public surveys that reactions to the police became noticeably more 
hostile when the frequency of stopping was greatly increased. 

44 Decoy tactics, employed frequently in the United States but only rarely in Britain, rely on 
police officers posing as likely targets of crimes such as robbery. Few formal evaluations have 
been carried out. Halper and Ku (1975) report that the New York Police Department’s Street 
Crime Unit achieve some success in reducing robberies. Edelman (1979) has reported that police 
departments in the United States are usually enthusiastic about the impact of decoy tactics; he 
also notes that the initial impact is said by many to wane, and that the decoys often ensnare 
opportunistic offenders who might not otherwise seek out victims. A police tactic which has 
much in common with decoy patrolling strategies is the ‘sting’ or ‘anti-fencing’ operation. In 
these, undercover police establish an (apparently) criminal organisation which ‘fences’ or buys 
stolen property. After a large clientele has been established, they are all arrested. The aims of 
such operations are to recover stolen goods, to arrest burglars and robbers, and to disrupt the 
market for stolen property. The impact of sting operations on crime levels is unclear, though 
an evaluation has been conducted by Westinghouse (1979). 

45 See James (1979) for an account of the operation of a robbery squad in a British city. See also 
Schnelle et al. (1975) for the evaluation of an (unsuccessful) American burglary squad. A Home 
Office study evaluating truancy patrols (Ekblom, 1979a) found that these were based on 
mistaken assumptions: only a small amount of crime in the areas studied was committed by 
children whilst truanting from school. 


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of function, whereby they are given exclusive responsibility for handling 
particular offences. In others, a greater emphasis is placed on the use of 
information technology in the analysis of patterns of offending. Other 
methods are also being tried out— for example the hargetted surveillance’ of 
known offenders*'*®*. As yet there have been few evaluations in Britain of 
these offender-based strategies, though it is claimed that the recent 
introduction of targetted surveillance in London has been accompanied by 
quite substantial reductions in street crimes. This strategy also seems less likely 
to generate abrasive street contacts than saturation patrolling and stop-and- 
search. At the same time its limitations should be recognised: it is labour- 
intensive; it is only effective against highly active offenders; and there is also 
the risk of provoking a hostile public reaction if people are wrongly identified 
as active criminals. 

Community policing 

( Community policing schemes usually aim to improve and sustain relations 
between the police and the public (or segments of the public) with a number 
of objectives in mind: to improve relations between police and public; to instil 
a greater commitment to the law; to improve the flow of information coming 
to the police about crime; and to encourage community crime prevention). (The 
crime prevention component of community policing overlaps with situational 
prevention and is discussed further under that heading.) 

Some schemes have involved the creation of posts such as community 
constables, community development officers and schools liaison officers. 
However there has been criticism about the marginal impact of such specialist 
personnel; and some advocates of community policing call for a much more 
thorough-going attempt to secure community support by a style of policing 
practised not simply by designated units but by the force as a whole*'*'^*. The 
elements of this most emphasised are greater involvement on the part of the 
police in the life of the community, improved consultation with local 
communities, and persuading people other than the police to take greater 
responsibility for prevention. Community policing places a premium on long- 
term postings to neighbourhoods, so that the officers can establish good links 
with the people they police. It thus has something in common with ‘team 
policing’ or ‘neighbourhood team policing’ in the United States*'*®*, though, 
as is discussed in the following section, improving public relations is not the 
only rationale for assigning officers long-term to single beats. 

Like any other initiative in this area, community policing has its share of 
drawbacks and problems. It is unlikely to be an effective way of tackling 
organised crime, and it may be difficult to introduce successfully where it is 

‘^6 See, e.g., Newman (1983). 

'*'7 See, e.g., Alderson (1979). 

See, e.g., Sherman et al. (1973) and Gay et al. (1977). 


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most needed, such as in some inner city areas, where suspicions of the police 
run high and the community is too fragmented for the police to build the 
necessary bridges. There is a risk, too, that the police will devote attention to 
improving relations with the most amenable sectors of the public — who are 
likely neither to be contemplating crime nor to have any criminal information 
to pass to the police. Community policing has met with resistance in some 
quarters for what is regarded as its self-appointed role of moral leadership — a 
problem thrown into focus in the recent debate about local political 
accountability of the police^''®) On past experience, problems of 
implementation can also be anticipated: some attempts to introduce 
community policing have met with resistance from within the ranks, probably 
because its ideas conflict with the prevailing and somewhat tough-minded 
police ethos^^'^h As a consequence the work of community constables has 
often been accorded low status, and they have been the first to be withdrawn 
from their normal duties to meet policing needs for events such as 
demonstrations and football matches^^^*. 

It will always be difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of community policing. 
Many of the benefits are expected to accrue only in the long term; for example, 
work with young school-children will only pay off in years to come. Objectives 
also tend to be stated in very general terms — ‘strengthening links with the 
community’ and ‘reinforcing mutual trust and informal control 
mechanisms’ — and they are often redefined once schemes have been 
started^^^h However, where specific activities are introduced (e.g. youth work 
or sports) and where immediate effects on the crime rate are sought, carefully 
designed research could perhaps measure these. 

Community policing addresses a fundamental point: the impact which the 
police achieve on crime stems not simply from their numbers and their precise 
tactics, but from the level of regard in which they are held by the public. 
Although it is not possible at present to quantify the relationship, levels of 
crime are very probably related to the quality of relations between police and 
public.(Where the police have lost — for whatever reason— the confidence of 
those they police, there is probably very little that sheer numbers can do to 
contain crime. Community policing, on the other hand, can lead to a style of 
policing more sensitively attuned to the needs of local communities, which in 
the ‘post-Scarman’ era few would doubt is necessary<^'"J If community 
policing succeeds in improving public confidence among groups where this is 
lacking, reductions in crime might eventually follow. 

‘*9 See Bennett (1983). 

50 Reiner (1978) found that only one police officer in 20 saw his work primarily in ‘service’ rather 
than ‘crime-fighting’ terms. See also Jones (1983). 

51 See Brown and lies (forthcoming). 

52 See Weatheritt (1983). 

53 See Scarman (1981) and Southgate (1982). 


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Neighbourhood policing 

Community policing provides a rationale for ‘putting bobbies back on the 
beat’ in terms of better relations between the police and public. Recently a 
second — and to some extent conflicting— rationale has been offered in terms 
of the foot patrol officer’s task of maintaining order on the bead^‘‘k This 
suggests that certain levels of disorderly behaviour (on the part of drunks, 
tramps, rowdy youths, prostitutes and other undesirables) can trigger a spiral 
of neighbourhood decline, with increased fear of crime, migration of the law- 
abiding from the area, weakening of informal social control and, ultimately, 
increases in serious crime. According to this view, beat policemen should be 
assigned long term to areas at risk to break the spiral, clamping down on the 
‘incivilities’ which lead to decline. 

Such ideas amount to an extension — or at least consolidation — of the police 
function of ‘order maintenance’ at a time when many have argued that this 
aspect of police work should be performed with a very light touch (especially 
in the multi-racial inner cities). At the risk of distortion it might be said that 
the beat policeman would arrest offenders or move them on, whilst the 
community constable would shepherd them back to the fold. Thorny issues 
about civil liberties and due process arise with informal policing of the local 
‘roughs’ on behalf of the local ‘respectables’ — especially in areas where there 
is little consensus about acceptable public behaviour. There is nevertheless 
some empirical support for the hypothesis; the Newark study mentioned above 
found that the introduction of foot patrols led to reductions in fear of crime, 
because, the authors argue, they secured a marked reduction in levels of public 
disorder— patrols moved on drunks, vagrants and beggars, for example, and 
youths were not allowed to gather in rowdy groups on the street. A more 
recent study also found that the presence of street disorder stimulates crime 
levels and fear of crime, and erodes informal control processes'^^k 

Situational prevention 

Situational prevention is premised on the view that reductions in crime are 
possible through the direct reduction of opportunities. This implies 
co-ordinated action tailored to specific problems. There are a number of 
successful examples of the approach: screening of airline passengers and 
baggage to prevent ‘skyjacking’, photographs on credit cards, the control of 
alcohol at football matches, supervision of children’s play on housing estates, 
vandal-resistant design and materials, some ‘defensible space’ architecture, 
‘neighbourhood watch’ and property marking schemes, improved lighting, 
closed circuit television surveillance, and the employment of caretakers. 

54 See Wilson and Kelling (1982), Kelling (1983). 

55 See Skogan (1983). In a study of 36 housing projects in American inner cities, he found 
evidence consistent with the idea that disorder weakens social control and leads to increased 
levels of crime and of fear of crime. It may also induce people to move from the area. 


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doormen or additional shop assistants. These measures achieve their effect by 
reducing the opportunities for specific forms of crime<^^h 

Much situational prevention falls beyond the scope of the police. For example 
the greatest inroads into theft and vandalism of cars may be achieved not 
through local police action but by improvements in vehicle design^^'^). The 
police do have an important part to play, however, in tackling local 
problems — perhaps not so much in taking preventive action which may fall to 
others (planners, for example, housing departments, transport authorities, 
private businesses and even individuals), but in initiating and co-ordinating 
such action^^^h Neighbourhood watch schemes being introduced in London 
and elsewhere are good examples^^^h This kind of work builds on the role of 
existing crime prevention officers but demands much more of the police: more 
skilful analysis of local crime problems; detailed knowledge of a greater range 
of preventive remedies; and more highly developed negotiating skills. These 
requirements will only be met, however, if the police themselves come to 
attach more importance to crime preventions®^). 

While several police forces in this country have undertaken what might be 
described as situational prevention, this has rarely been pursued as part of an 
articulated preventive philosophy. In Canada, however, situational prevention 
has been adopted more explicitly by some forces with promising results, and 
in the United States there is considerable enthusiasm for ‘problem oriented 
policing’, which has many of the elements of situational prevention as it 
affects the police^®)). There is growing interest in Britain; Sir Kenneth 
Newman’s ‘blueprint’ for policing in London contains a substantial element 
of situational preventions®^). 

The limits to situational prevention lie partly in the rarity of crime, which 
means that some measures are simply not cost-effective. Some situational 
measures are also subject to displacement — that is to say, where offenders are 
diverted to targets in other areas, operate at different times or change their 
modus operandf^^K Other drawbacks have their source in people’s reluctance 

See Clarke and Mayhew (1980) and Clarke (1983) for detailed discussions of situational 

57 See Ekblom (1979b), Karmen (1981) and Svensson (1982). 

58 See Sherman (1983) for a discussion of the scope for police co-ordination of crime prevention, 
and of the requirements demanded of them in doing so. 

59 A recent assessment (Titus, in press) of community crime prevention in the United States has 
endorsed neighbourhood watch programmes and property marking programmes. See also Cirel 
et al. (1977) for an account of the Seattle Community Crime Prevention Program. 

60 See Heal (1983). 

61 See Goldstein (1979) for a discussion of ‘problem-oriented’ approach to policing in the United 
States, and Engstad and Evans (1980) and Heywood (1979) for situational prevention in 

62 See Metropolitan Police (1983). 

63 See Note 40. 


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to take the necessary action or to achieve the necessary co-ordination. 
Bureaucratic obstacles are sometimes to blame for this, but situational 
prevention has been slow to find acceptance for other reasons. In particular 
the measures have been seen as merely containing the problems, and failing to 
tackle the root causes of crime. Nevertheless many of these objections should 
disappear if the measures prove themselves— and initial experience is 


While subject to the limitations which have been noted, the innovations 
discussed above hold some promise. Gains can be expected from the more 
focused strategies aimed at the arrest of specific groups of offenders; 
community policing may also improve relations between the police and the 
public in some areas, and reductions in crime may thereby result; equally, 
policing ‘disorder’ on the beat may help reduce neighbourhood decline and 
prevent crime. Situational prevention if properly pursued can undoubtedly 
lead to reductions in specific sorts of crime (the new Home Office crime 
prevention unit will have an important part to play in promoting the 
approach). Any reductions thereby achieved are, of course, to be welcomed, 
but all of these approaches are of limited application and even if systematically 
applied may not substantially alter overall levels of crime. 

In developing any of the innovations the potential of information technology 
must be fully recognised and, as mentioned above, the police must develop a 
greater capability for problem analysis. The starting point must be with 
statistics already collected by the police— analysis of which can certainly be 
improved. There is also a need for the police to supplement the clear-up rate 
with other more appropriate measures of their performance. Without such 
measures, police managers will probably continue to give priority to those 
activities which yield arrests rather than prevent crime. One way forward 
would be to promote the use by police forces of local ‘victim’ surveys— where 
samples of the public are questioned about their experience of crime. This 
would yield information not only about crime reported to the police but also 
about the very large number of unreported crimes. Measures of the latter — 
crimes which the police can never ‘clear up’ — may underscore the need for 
prevention. And repeated surveys can provide an independent measure of the 
success of preventive action^^^k 

It could be said that limitations on police effectiveness in controlling crime 
should not be discussed in public because, for example, this might undermine 
public confidence or encourage offending by those who are deterred at 
present. But apart from any general arguments of openness it is important that 
there should be a wider understanding of what can be expected from the police 

^ See Southgate (in press). 


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and what the public should expect to do for themselves. It may not be helpful 
to think in terms of a ‘war on crime’ fought between criminals and the police, 
as this may increase unnecessarily public anxieties and fear of crime. 


The clearest implication of the research reviewed above is that there are few 
proven grounds for indiscriminately allocating further resources to traditional 
deterrent strategies. It remains to be seen precisely how effective the various 
innovations are. In the short or medium term the manpower needs they give 
rise to can probably be met by reallocating existing resources. A point may be 
reached in the longer term when all the ‘organisational slack’ has been taken 
up and further improvements can only be bought with extra manpower. 

More effort devoted to deterrent policing such as saturation policing and ‘stop 
and search’ can result in increased numbers of arrests. But these tend not to 
be for serious crimes and their deterrent benefit must be set against the costs: 
police action perceived to be heavy handed or unnecessary can worsen 
relations between police and sections of the public?^ The ‘knock on’ effects of 
arresting more people must also be considered (increased expenditure on the 
police may entail further expenditure on the court^ prisons and probation 
service^^^O- There is a need both for more awareness and for more detailed 
information about the consequences of extra police resources on the rest of the 
criminal justice system. 

The evidence about police effectiveness, coupled with financial constraints, led 
some American police departments to reduce manpower in the late 1970s; the 
New York Police Department reduced its workforce by a fifth. One result was 
that recorded crime continued to rise — but no faster than before — and arrests 
for serious offences actually rose^^^h Some police authorities in this country 
have also entertained the idea of reducing manpower. However, levels of 
police resources should not be assessed simply in terms of their effect on crime. 
Manpower is needed to perform the many functions of policing besides law 
enforcement, and it is doubtful whether the police could provide the same level 
of service with fewer officers'^’k 

Clearly a completely objective formula for deciding police resources will never 
be devised, but it might be possible to make decisions better informed. This 
will require several things to be achieved. The public must receive better 
information about police work and about the effectiveness of crime control 

65 It should in the future be possible to quantify the ‘knock on’ effects of increased police 
expenditure using the criminal justice model which is being developed by the Home Office (see 
Butler, 1982). 

66 But arrests for minor offences fell quite sharply and police morale suffered. See Smith (1981). 

67 There is little public awareness of the extent and nature of the non-crime work of the police 
and even less debate about the desirable levels of service. Existing evidence implies, however, 
that cutting down on non-crime work might prove costly to relations between the police and 
the public and difficult to implement. See Ekblom and Heal (1982). 


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efforts. There must be more informed discussion about the tasks which the 
police should and should not perform. (Here the police authorities and the 
recently established consultative committees have an important part to play.) 
The police must confront questions about the efficiency and effectiveness of 
their non-crime work. And survey techniques and other research methods 
must be deployed to support them in this task; developing adequate ‘output 
measures’ for the totality of police work — difficult though this may be — must 
therefore rank high on the research agenda. 


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Willis, C. F. (1983). The Use, Effectiveness and Impact of Police Stop and 
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Wilson, J. Q. and Kelling, G. L. (1982). ‘Broken windows’ The Atlantic 
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Titles already published for the Home Office 
Postage extra 

Studies in the Causes of Delinquency and the Treatment of Offenders (SCDTO) 

1. Prediction methods in relation to borstal training. Hermann Mannheim and Leslie T. 
Wilkins. 1955. viii + 276pp. (11 340051 9). 

2. *Time spent awaiting trial. Evelyn Gibson. 1960. v + 45pp. (34-368-2). 

3. *Delinquent generations. Leslie T. Wilkins. 1960. iv + 20pp. (11 340053 5). 

3. *Delinquent generations. Leslie T. Wilkins. 1960. iv + 20pp. (11 340053 5). 

4. *Murder. Evelyn Gibson and S. Klein. 1961. iv + 44pp. (11 340054 3). 

5. Persistent criminals. A study of all offenders liable to preventive detention in 1956. W. H. 
Hammond and Edna Chayen. 1963. ix + 237pp. (34-368-5). 

6. *Some statistical and other numerical techniques for classifying individuals. P. McNaughton- 

Smith. 1965. v + 33pp. (34-368-6). 

7. Probation research: a preliminary report. Part I. General outline of research. Part II. Study 
of Middlesex probation area (SOMPA). Steven Folkard, Kate Lyon, Margaret M. Carver 
and Erica O’Leary. 1966. vi + 58pp. (11 340374 7). 

8. ^Probation research: national study of probation. Trends and regional comparisons in 

probation (England and Wales). Hugh Barr and Erica O’Leary. 1966. vii + 51pp. 

9. *Probation research. A survey of group work in the probation service. Hugh Barr. 1966. vii 

+ 94pp. (34-368-9). 

10. *Types of delinquency and home background. A validation study of Hewitt and Jenkins’ 

hypothesis. Elizabeth Field. 1967. vi + 21pp. (34-368-10). 

1 1 . ^Studies of female offenders. No. 1 — Girls of 16-20 years sentenced to borstal or detention 

centre training in 1963. No. 2 — Women offenders in the Metropolitan Police District in 
March and April 1957. No. 3 — A description of women in prison on January 1, 1965. Nancy 
Goodman and Jean Price. 1967. v + 78pp. (34-368-11). 

12. *The use of the Jesness Inventory on a sample of British probationers. Martin Davies. 1967. 

iv + 20pp. (34-368-12). 

13. "^The Jesness Inventory: application to approved school boys. Joy Mott. 1969. iv + 27pp. 

(11 340063 2). 

Home Office Research Studies (HORS) 

1. *Workloads in children’s departments. Eleanor Grey. 1969. vi + 75pp. (11 340101 9). 

2. ""Probationers in their social environment. A study of male probationers aged 17-20, 

together with an analysis of those reconvicted within twelve months. Martin Davies. 1969. 
vii + 204pp. (11 340102 7). 

3. ""Murder 1957 to 1968. A Home Office Statistical Division report on murder in England and 

Wales. Evelyn Gibson and S. Klein (with annex by the Scottish Home and Health 
Department on murder in Scotland). 1969. vi + 94pp. (11 340103 5). 

""Out of print. Photostat copies can be purchased from HMSO upon request. 


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4. Firearms in crime. A Home Office Statistical Division report on indictable offences 
involving firearms in England and Wales. A. D. Weatherhead and B. M. Robinson. 1970. 
viii + 39pp. (11 340104 3). 

5. *Financial penalties and probation. Martin Davies. 1970. vii + 39pp. (11 340105 1). 

6. *Hostels for probationers. A study of the aims, working and variations in effectiveness of 

male probation hostels with special reference to the influence of the environment on 
delinquency. Ian Sinclair. 1971. ix + 200pp. (11 340106 X). 

7. *Prediction methods in criminology — including a prediction study of young men on 

probation. Frances H. Simon. 1971. xi + 234pp. (11 340107 8). 

8. *Study of the juvenile liaison scheme in West Ham 1961-65. Marilyn Taylor. 1971. vi + 

46pp. (11 340108 6). 

9. *ExpIorations in after-care. I — After-care units in London, Liverpool and Manchester. 

Martin Silberman (Royal London Prisoners’ Aid Society) and Brenda Chapman. II— After- 
care hostels receiving a Home Office grant. Ian Sinclair and David Snow (HORU). Ill— St. 
Martin of Tours House, Aryeh Leissner (National Bureau for Co-operation in Child Care). 
1971. xi -t- 140pp. (11 340109 4). 

10. *A survey of adoption in Great Britain. Eleanor Grey in collaboration with Ronald M. 

Blunden. 1971. ix + 168pp. (11 340110 8). 

11. *Thirteen-year-old approved school boys in 1962s. Elizabeth Field, W. H. Hammond and 

J. Tizard. 1971. ix + 46pp. (11 340111 6). 

12. Absconding from approved schools. R. V. G. Clarke and D. N. Martin. 1971. vi -f 146pp. 
(11 340112 4). 

13. An experiment in personality assessment of young men remanded in custody. H. Sylvia 
Anthony. 1972. viii + 79pp. (11 340113 2). 

14. *GirI offenders aged 17-20 years. I— Statistics relating to girl offenders aged 17-20 years 

from 1960 to 1970. II— Re-offending by girls released from borstal or detention centre 
training. Ill — The problems of girls released from borstal training during their period on 
after-care. Jean Davies and Nancy Goodman. 1972. v + 77pp. (11 340114 0). 

15. *The controlled trial in institutional research— paradigm or pitfall for penal evaluators? 

R. V. G. Clarke and D. B. Cornish. 1972. v -l- 33pp. (11 340115 9). 

16. *A survey of fine enforcement. Paul Softley. 1973. v + 65pp. (11 340116 7). 

17. *An index of social environment— designed for use in social work research. Martin Davies. 

1973. vi 4- 63pp. (11 340117 5). 

18. *SociaI enquiry reports and the probation service. Martin Davies and Andrea Knopf. 1973 

V -I- 49pp. (11 340118 3). 

19. *Depression, psychopathic personality and attempted suicide in a borstal sample. H. Sylvia 

Anthony. 1973. viii 4- 44pp. (0 11 340119 1). 

20. *The use of bail and custody by London magistrates’ courts before and after the Criminal 

Justice Act 1967. Frances Simon and Mollie Weatheritt. 1974. vi 4- 78pp. (0 11 340120 5). 

21. *SociaI work in the environment. A study of one aspect of probation practice. Martin Davies, 

with Margaret Rayfield, Alaster Calder and Tony Fowles. 1974. ix 4 - 151pp. (0 1 1 340121 3)! 

22. Social work in prison. An experiment in the use of extended contact with offenders. 
Margaret Shaw. 1974. viii 4- 154pp. (0 11 340122 1). 

23. Delinquency amongst opiate users. Joy Mott and Marilyn Taylor. 1974 vi 4- 31 pp 
(0 11 340663 0). 

24. IMPACT. Intensive matched probation and after-care treatment. Vol. I — The design of the 
probation experiment and an interim evaluation. M. S. Folkard, A. J, Fowles, B. C. 
McWilliams, W. McWilliams, D. D. Smith, D. E. Smith and G. R. Walmsley. 1974 v 4 - 
54pp. (0 11 340664 9). 

*Out of print. Photostat copies can be purchased from HMSO upon request. 


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25. The approved school experience. An account of boys’ experiences of training under differing 
regimes of approved schools, with an attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of that training. 
Anne B. Dunlop. 1974. vii + 124pp. (0 11 340665 7). 

26. *Absconding from open prisons. Charlotte Banks, Patricia Mayhew and R. J. Sapsford. 

1975. viii + 89pp. (0 11 340666 5). 

27. Driving while disqualified. Sue Kriefman. 1975. vi + 136pp. (0 11 340667 3). 

28. Some male offenders’ problems. I— Homeless offenders in Liverpool. W. McWilliams. II— 
Casework with short-term prisoners. Julie Holborn. 1975. x + 147pp. (0 11 340668 1). 

29. *Community service orders. K. Pease, P. Durkin, I. Earnshaw, D. Payne and J. Thorpe. 

1975. viii + 80pp. (0 11 340669 X). 

30. Field Wing Bail Hostel: the first nine months. Frances Simon and Sheena Wilson. 1975. viii 
+ 55pp. (0 11 340670 3). 

31. Homicide in England and Wales 1967-1971. Evelyn Gibson. 1975. iv + 59pp. (0 11 340753 X). 

32. Residential treatment and its effects on delinquency. D. B. Cornish and R. V. G. Clarke. 
1975. vi + 74pp. (0 11 340672 X). 

33. Further studies of female offenders. Part A: Borstal girls eight years after release. Nancy 
Goodman, Elizabeth Maloney and Jean Davies. Part B: The sentencing of women at the 
London Higher Courts. Nancy Goodman, Paul Durkin and Janet Halton. Part C: Girls 
appearing before a juvenile court. Jean Davies. 1976. vi + 114pp. (0 11 340673 8). 

34. *Crime as opportunity. P. Mayhew, R. V. G. Clarke, A. Sturman and J. M. Hough. 1976. 

vii + 36pp. (0 11 340674 6). 

35. The effectiveness of sentencing: a review of the literature. S. R. Brody. 1976. v + 89pp. 
(0 11 340675 4). 

36. IMPACT. Intensive matched probation and after-care treatment. Vol. II — The results of the 
experiment. M. S. Folkard, D. E. Smith and D. D. 1976. xi + 40pp. (0 11 340676 2). 

37. Police cautioning in England and Wales. J. A. Ditchfield. 1976. v -I- 31pp. (0 1 1 340677 0). 

38. Parole in England and Wales. C. P. Nuttall, with E. E. Barnard, A. J. Fowles, A. Frost, 
W. H. Hammond, P. Mayhew, K. Pease, R. Tarling and M. J. Weatheritt. 1977. vi + 90pp. 
(0 11 340678 9). 

39. Community service assessed in 1976. K. Pease, S. Billingham and I. Earnshaw. 1977. vi -l- 
29pp. (0 11 340679 7). 

40. Screen violence and film censorship: a review of research. Stephen Brody. 1977. vii -t- 179pp. 
(0 11 340680 0). 

41. Absconding from borstals. Gloria K. Laycock. 1977. v -t- 82pp. (0 11 340681 9). 

42. Gambling: a review of the literature and its implications for policy and research. D. B. 
Cornish. 1978. xii -l- 284pp. (0 11 340682 7). 

43. Compensation orders in magistrates’ courts. Paul Softley. 1978. v -f 41pp. (0 11 340683 5). 

44. Research in criminal justice. John Croft. 1978. iv -l- 16pp. (0 11 340684 3). 

45. Prison welfare: an account of an experiment at Liverpool. A. J. Fowles. 1978. v + 34pp. 
(0 11 340685 1). 

46. Fines in magistrates’ courts. Paul Softley. 1978. v + 42pp. (0 11 340686 X). 

47. Tackling vandalism. R. V. G. Clarke (editor), F. J. Gladstone, A. Sturman and Sheena 
Wilson (contributors). 1978, vi 4- 91pp. (0 11 340687 8). 

48. Social inquiry reports: a survey. Jennifer Thorpe. 1979. vi + 55pp. (0 11 340688 6). 

49. Crime in public view. P. Mayhew, R. V. G. Clarke, J. N. Burrows, J. M. Hough and 
S. W. C. Winchester. 1979. v + 36pp. (0 11 340689 4). 

50. Crime and the community. John Croft. 1979. v + 16pp. (0 11 340690 8). 

*Out of print. Photostat copies can be purchased from HMSO upon request. 


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51. Life-sentence prisoners. David Smith (editor), Christopher Brown, Joan Worth, Roger 
Sapsford and Charlotte Banks (contributors). 1979. iv + 51pp. (0 11 340691 6). 

52. Hostels for offenders. Jane E. Andrews, with an appendix by Bill Sheppard. 1979. v + 
30pp. (0 11 340692 4). 

53. Previous convictions, sentence and reconviction: a statistical study of a sample of 5,000 
offenders convicted in January 1971. G. J. O. Phillpotts and L. B. Lancucki. 1979. v + 
55pp. (0 11 340693 2). 

54. Sexual offences, consent and sentencing. Roy Walmsley and Karen White. 1979. vi + 77pp. 
(0 11 340694 0). 

55. Crime prevention and the police. John Burrows, Paul Ekblom and Kevin Heal. 1979. v + 
37pp. (0 11 340695 9). 

56. Sentencing practice in magistrates’ courts. Roger Tarling, with the assistance of Mollie 
Weatheritt. 1979. vii + 54pp. (0 11 340696 7). 

57. Crime and comparative research. John Croft. 1979. iv + 16pp. (Oil 340697 5). 

58. Race, crime and arrests. Philip Stevens and Carole F. Willis. 1979. v + 69pp. (0 11 340698 3). 

59. Research and criminal policy. John Croft. 1980. iv + 14pp. (0 11 340699 1). 

60. Junior attendance centres. Anne B. Dunlop. 1980. v + 47pp. (Oil 340700 9). 

61. Police interrogation: an observational study in four police stations. Paul Softley, with the 
assistance of David Brown, Bob Forde, George Mair and David Moxon. 1980. vii + 67pp. 
(0 11 340701 7). 

62. Co-ordinating crime prevention efforts. F. J. Gladstone. 1980. v + 74pp. (0 11 340702 5). 

63. Crime prevention publicity: an assessment. D. Riley and P. Mayhew. 1980. v + 47pp. 
(0 11 340703 3). 

64. Taking offenders out of circulation. Stephen Brody and Roger Tarling. 1980. v + 46pp. 
(0 11 340704 1). 

65. *AIcoholism and social policy: are we on the right lines? Mary Tuck. 1980. v + 30pp. 

(0 11 340705 X). 

66. Persistent petty offenders. Suzan Fairhead. 1981. vi + 78pp. (0 11 340706 8). 

67. Crime control and the police. Pauline Morris and Kevin Heal. 1981. v + 71pp. (011 340707 6). 

68. Ethnic minorities in Britain: a study of trends in their position since 1961. Simon Field, 
George Mair, Tom Rees and Philip Stevens. 1981. v + 48pp. (0 11 340708 4). 

69. Managing criminological research. John Croft. 1981. iv + 17pp. (0 11 340709 2). 

70. Ethnic minorities, crime and policing: a survey of the experiences of West Indians and 
whites. Mary Tuck and Peter Southgate. 1981. iv + 54pp. (0 11 340765 3). 

71. Contested trials in magistrates’ courts. Julie Vennard. 1982. v + 32pp. (0 11 340766 1). 

72. Public disorder: a review of research and a study in one inner city area. Simon Field and 
Peter Southgate. 1982. v -I- 77pp. (0 11 340767 X). 

73. Clearing up crime. John Burrows and Roger Tarling. 1982. vii -I- 31pp. (0 11 340768 8). 

74. Residential burglary: the limits of prevention. Stuart Winchester and Hilary Jackson. 1982. 
V + 47pp. (0 11 340769 6). 

75. Concerning crime. John Croft. 1982. iv + 16pp. (0 11 340770 X). 

76. The British Crime Survey: first report. Mike Hough and Pat Mayhew. 1983. v + 62pp. 
(0 11 340786 6). 

77. Contacts between police and public: findings from the British Crime Survey. Peter Southgate 
and Paul Ekblom. 1984. (In press). 

78. Fear of crime in England and Wales. Michael Maxfield. 1984. (In press). 

*Out of print. Photostat copies can be purchased from HMSO upon request. 


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Designing out crime. R. V. G. Clarke and P. Mayhew (editors). 1980. viii + 186pp. 
(0 11 340732 7). 

(This book collects, with an introduction, studies that were originally published in HORS 
34 , 47 , 49 , 55 , 62 and 63 and which are illustrative of the ‘situational’ approach to crime 

The above HMSO publications can be purchased from Government Bookshops or through 

The following Home Office research publications are available on request from the Home Office 
Research and Planning Unit, 50 Queen Anne’s Gate, London, SWIH 9AT. 

Research Unit Papers (RUP) 

1. Uniformed police work and management technology. J. M. Hough. 1980. 

2. Supplementary information on sexual offences and sentencing. Roy Walmsley and Karen 
White. 1980. 

3. Board of visitor adjudications. David Smith, Claire Austin and John Ditchfield. 1981. 

4. Day centres and probation. Suzan Fairhead, with the assistance of J. Wilkinson-Grey. 1981 . 

Research and Planning Unit Papers (RPUP) 

5. Ethnic minorities and complaints against the police. Philip Stevens and Carole Willis. 1982. 

6. Crime and public housing. Mike Hough and Pat Mayhew (editors). 1982. 

7. Abstracts of race relations research. George Mair and Philip Stevens (editors). 1982. 

8. Police probationer training in race relations. Peter Southgate. 1982. 

9. The police response to calls from the public. Paul Ekblom and Kevin Heal. 1982. 

10. City centre crime: a situational approach to prevention. Malcolm Ramsay. 1982. 

11. Burglary in schools: the prospects for prevention. Tim Hope. 1982. 

12. Fine enforcement. Paul Softley and David Moxon. 1982. 

13. Vietnamese refugees. Peter Jones. 1982. 

14. Community resources for victims of crime. Karen Williams. 1983. 

15. The use, effectiveness and impact of police stop and search powers. Carole Willis. 1983. 

16. Acquittal rates. Sid Butler. 1983. 

17. Criminal justice comparisons: the case of Scotland and England and Wales. Lorna J. F. 
Smith. 1983. 

18. Time taken to deal with juveniles under criminal proceedings. Catherine Frankenburg and 
Roger Tarling. 1983. 

19. Civilian review of complaints against the police: a survey of the United States literature. 
David C. Brown. 1983. 

20. Police action on motoring offences. David Riley. 1983. 

21. Diverting drunks from the criminal justice system. Sue Kingsley and George Mair. 1983. 

22. The staff resource implications of an independent prosecution system. Peter R. Jones. 1983. 

23. Reducing the prison population: an explanatory study in Hampshire. David Smith et al. 

24. Criminal justice system model: magistrates’ courts’ sub-model. Susan Rice. 1984. 

Research Bulletin 

The Research Bulletin is published twice a year and consists mainly of short articles relating to 
projects which are part of the Home Office Research and Planning Unit’s research programme. 

Printed in the UK for HMSO 
Dd737709 C25 4/84 (821) 


Printed image digitised by the University of Southampton Library Digitisation Unit